The Southern Boone School Board agreed to table a proposal by Superintendent Chris Felmlee regarding school lunch debt and form a committee to study the issue.

The committee will report back to the board next month and will investigate ways in which families can get assistance to pay school lunch debts accrued by SoBoCo students.

The change came during Monday’s May school board meeting.

The problem – currently more than $25,000 according to Felmlee – has been batted around for the past two years, with district administrators taking the time to call families in hopes of arranging a payment plan.

According to building principals at Monday’s SoBoCo School Board meeting, some of those families should be on a free-or-reduced lunch program and have not completed the paperwork required, others formerly met the free-or-reduced standards, but no longer meet those standards.

Ashland’s Ernie Wren, who spoke out against the policy of not allowing students to participate in 8th grade graduation or high school commencement, spoke out again on Monday night.

“When a parent creates a scene at a basketball game, we don’t throw the kid out of the game,” Wren said, “we ask the parent to leave. Don’t put the punishment on a student when the parents don’t step up and do what they are supposed to do.”

Wren asked the board to look further at what how some other districts handle the school lunch debt challenge while also looking for potential solutions in the Southern Boone Community. “There are lots of options – from sending someone to collections, fund raisers and so on. Don’t take commencement away from a student who did everything right when his parents didn’t step up.”

~ Get more of this story in today’s Journal ~

By Bruce Wallace